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At noon on Wednesday, March 4, as part of the department's History Is Lunch series, Kathryn Etre will present “Preserving the Past: What Is Conservation?”.

Over time, all artifacts–even our own personal treasures—age and may break or become worn. Conservation is defined as “the profession devoted to preserving cultural material for the future,” and conservators strive to prolong the life of these artifacts.

Although conservation activities are integral to museums, they tend to take place out of the public view, shrouded in mystery. MDAH director of conservation Kathryn Etre will pull back the curtain to show examples of conservation work and highlight artifacts from the upcoming Mississippi Distilled: Prohibition, Piety, and Politics exhibit opening March 21.

“My favorite quote about conservation says ‘Our heritage is all that we know of ourselves; what we preserve of it, our only record,’” Etre said. “Conservation was the field that allowed me to combine my love of history, science, and arts and crafts into a career.”

Kathryn Etre earned her BA from Boston University with majors in history, archaeology, and classic civilizations and an MS in conservation for archaeology and museums from the Institute of Archaeology of University College London. From 2007 to 2010 she was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and assistant conservator at Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum from 2010 to 2016. Etre was site conservator at Malqata, Egypt, in 2013 and at Oǧlanqala, Azerbaijan, in 2015. She is a professional associate of the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and has published in the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation.

The program will take place in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium at the Two Mississippi Museums—the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum—located at 222 North Street, Jackson, MS 39201. There is no charge to attend.

The events are livestreamed on the department's Facebook page and archived there and on the department's YouTube channel. For more information call 601-576-6998 or email


March 4—Kathryn Etre, “Preserving the Past: What Is Conservation?”

March 11—Ralph Didlake, “The Mississippi State Asylum: A Realm of Its Own.”

March 18—Frank Figgers, "Stories and Secrets: The History of the Stringer Grand Lodge.” This program will take place in the Old Capitol Museum.

March 25—Phillip Gordon, "Gay Faulkner: Uncovering a Homosexual Presence in Yoknapatawpha and Beyond.”

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